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Burkina Faso

Sub-Saharan Africa


Burkina Faso ranks 147 out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, where a high rank equals high equality. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.


Burkina Faso has a Workplace Index score of 5.7, a Marketplace Index score of 4.4 and a Community and Environment Index score of 4.9 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, there is a great linguistic and ethnic diversity among the inhabitants of Burkina Faso (called Burkinabe). Minority groups include Dioula, Peul and related groups, Lobi, Dagiri and related groups, Bobo and Guransi. There are no reliable population figures on these groups. The Voltaic linguistic group includes Mossi, Gurunsi, Bobo and Lobi. Mande-speakers include Senufo, Dioula and Busani. Other groups include Peul and Hausa. Many Burkinabe adhere to traditional beliefs, but a steadily growing minority have a strengthened Muslim identity, despite the fact that this was historically resisted by both local leaders and the colonial French throughout the 20th century. Roman Catholics form an influential minority, especially prominent in local government in the capital Ouagadougou and in the southern economic centre Bobo-Dioulasso. Peul (Fula) and Tamasheq (Tuareg) clans with their quasi-vassal associates, Bellah, are largely pastoralists, and are almost entirely Muslim. They inhabit the northern Sahelian region and the border areas with Mali. They have been historically marginalised as the Mossi domination of the state has grown since the 1930s, but individual Peul politicians and business people remain prominent, especially in the trade and transport sub-sectors of the economy. Christianized Gurunsi and Bobo live along the border with Ghana in south and south-east Burkina Faso. The Gurunsi, a collective term for several peoples including the Lele and Kassena, are an independent group of cultivators; highly individualistic, they have never organized to protect themselves and have often been raided by their more powerful neighbours. Of Burkina Faso’s Mandé-speakers, the Dioula are Burkina’s equivalents of the great business dynasties of Mali and northern Côte d’Ivoire. The Senufo, a small segment of a larger Muslim Côte d’Ivoire and Malian ethnic group, live in the extreme south-west along the frontier. Far from central control, they have often viewed the government with mistrust. It should be stressed that all these minority groups are well represented in the capital Ouagadougou.

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Burkina Faso ranks 36 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch

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